So it might seem surprising that at 44, I stripped down to my (best) underwear and had professional photographs taken. (Actually, I didn’t just do it once. It was so much fun, I did it three times!)
So how did I end up in this place, you might ask. Well, it’s a long story…
Griff phoned one night and said, “Honey, I can’t come over Tuesday night. I know I promised to be there, but something’s come up.”
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Well…There’s going to be six naked women at my house.”
As you might imagine, there was quite an extended pause before I replied.
“Six Naked Women?”
“Yeah… there might be more than six actually.”
Another very long pause.
And then Griff started laughing. “A couple of my colleagues are starting a company taking boudoir photographs and they need a place for a photo shoot for their website. Since they’re using my place for the photos, they wondered if you’d like photos taken for free.”
“Am I going to end up on the website?” I asked, horrified.
“No,” he laughed. “But if you’re interested, they’ll take photos of you that night too.”
Now at 40, I would have said no without even thinking about it. But quite a bit had changed in my life since 40. And so instead I said yes.
In fact it might have come out as “Hell, yes!”
The night of the photos, Griff greeted me at his door with a very large glass of wine.
Which I knocked back in about four minutes.
The models that Griff’s colleagues had recruited were all 20 years younger than me and had amazing bodies. I watched as the girls, clad in hardly anything, reclined on Griff’s antique couch, stretched out on his bed, and perched on his bar stools.
I might have been feeling insecure, me with my 44 year old body, except that Griff, judiciously, kept refilling my wine glass. When he was quite sure that I’d had enough to drink, he pulled me close, and whispered, “I have a surprise for you, Baby.” He took me by the hand and led me out to the garage.
He’d removed everything from his garage except for his racing motorcycle which was sitting alone in the space with a large screen behind it.
I laughed (somewhat drunkenly, I’ll admit). “Griff, you can’t get me on that thing fully clothed! I am not getting on that bike in my underwear!”
And that’s how things started.
Megan, the photographer, adjusted the lights and the fans, and positioned me on Griff’s bar stool exactly the way she wanted me. “Okay, Sally. Drop your right shoulder. Chest out a bit. Tilt your head a little to the left. Relax your forehead. Now close your eyes, and when you open them, flash me a smile.”
Now what you might not know about me is that I love the diva lights. And so, under the glow of the lights, and with the direction of the photographer, and perhaps under the influence of too much wine, I relaxed and let loose my inner lingerie model. I pouted and posed; I flipped my hair; I arched my back and smouldered for the camera.
I couldn’t remember when I’d had so much fun.
When Megan suggested I drop Griff’s shirt over my shoulders, I complied. When she suggested I take off the shirt and try on a bustier, I went right along with the plan. When she asked if I’d like to put on some knee high stiletto boots and pose on Griff’s motorcycle, I marched right into that garage and draped myself over the bike.
What I remember most about that night is how sexy and uninhibited I felt, how much fun I had posing for those photographs. I can’t explain how empowering it felt to embrace that side of myself.
And when I look back at those photos now, pictures taken so soon after a divorce that had left me reeling, had left me questioning my beauty and my worth, I see a woman who is sexy and beautiful and confident. And you can’t put a price on that.